The wonderful cut, london broil

26 Aug

So I don’t know about you, but my local grocery store has london broil on sale about every other week. The deal is usually a BOGO (buy one get one free.) I love london broil, but marinating and grilling or marinating and broiling does get a bit dull. For argument sake london broil is similar to a flank steak. Although the london broil is NOT flank steak, it just looks like one. There is no specific area that this cut comes from per say, but it is usually cut from the top round. Not sure what that is? It’s OK. Top round is typically used for roasts and slow cooking. So why is this cut mostly thrown on the grill as if it was a quick cooking cut? As with a lot of culinary questions, no one seems to know the whole story.

While a good grilled london broil can feed an army, it has to be thinly sliced to not taste like meat flavored bubble gum. It also tends to be dry since it is a very lean meat and the muscle fibers are thick and long. My solution to this culinary mystery? Cook the london broil the way you would cook any top round roast… low and slow.

I’m making an Italian pot roast with my london broil. Because it is typically trimmed within an inch of it’s life at the store, we have to compensate the lack of fat with BIG flavor. IMG_0772I used a whole head of garlic, thyme, rosemary, oregano, carrots, onion, and celery to give the sauce the big flavor. I also used 2 cups of cabernet sauvignon. The wine reduces and gives the whole dish depth and body.

There really is no recipe to post for this one. Again this comes down to technique. The slow cooker, although not a traditional culinary tool, is quite a help for this. It takes less energy to heat the slow cooker or crockpot than it would to heat the oven for the same amount of time. So the technique…

The technique used here is braising. First thing to do is sear the meat in a little fat. Make sure you get a nice brown crust on both sides. Put the meat in the slow cooker. In the same pan that you brown the meat in, add the vegetables. You might need a little more fat which is OK. Sauté the vegetables until they are just soft. Add the wine to the pan to deglaze. Put the wine and vegetables into the slow cooker with the meat and turn it on to high. At this point you can add any herbs and spices that you like. I also like adding a large can of whole tomatoes and garlic, but you can add beef stock or even water if you don’t want to use the tomatoes.

You’ll know the meat is ready when you can shred it easily with tongs or 2 forks. Typically I make this dish in the fall as a wonderful warm up, but what can I say, I was just in the mood tonight.

On a final note. You can use this technique of braising on just about anything. The only real difference is the cooking time. If you are braising chicken it will probably only need 2-3 hours before it’s ready. You can braise vegetables too. Turnips, carrots, bok choy, and leeks all take to this cooking technique. Just make sure to monitor your time so you don’t over cook or you’ll wind up with a mushy mess.

Always thinking of the next meal

-Katie

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One Response to “The wonderful cut, london broil”

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  1. The Anatomy of a Tailgate « On Your Plate - September 26, 2009

    […] favorite hot sauce celery sticks Grilled naan pizza, the topping was leftover pot roast from the London Broil post with a horseradish cream sauce (yum) assorted […]

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